Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Cakes & Bakes: Portuguese custard tarts

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

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Pile of home-made Portuguese custard tarts

Justin requested these Portuguese custard tarts after seeing Bruno Pinho make them on TV recently.

Portuguese custard tart ingredients

We strongly recommend that you give them a try too – they’re absolutely delicious!

Making sugar syrup for Portuguese custard tarts

In 2012, Bruno appeared in the Welsh village of Caerleon and opened a bakery.

Making custard for Portuguese custard tarts

Can you imagine the joy of a new bakery opening in your town and trays of these delicious looking tarts appearing in the shop window?

Adding vanilla seeds to custard for Portuguese custard tarts

If you don’t happen to have a Portuguese bakery where you live, fear not – they’re very makable at home… the recipe is quite straightforward, but does need following properly to get perfect results.

Making puff pastry cases for Portuguese custard tarts

You can make your own puff pastry if your really keen, but we got excellent results using ready made.

Uncooked Portuguese custard tarts

The custard tartlets look lovely with their shiny golden brown finish – and they weren’t left to cool for long before we had to try one…then two… then three… then four!!

Portuguese custard tarts fresh from the oven

The cinnamon and vanilla come through well, but don’t over-power. The lemon stops them being cloying or claggy. They’re best eaten on the day, but we guarantee that this wont be a problem.

Portuguese custard tarts cooling on a wire rack

Crispy puff pastry and a sweet, moist filling… did we mention that they were delicious?

Portuguese custard tarts
Yields 10
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
for the sugar syrup
  1. 250g/9oz caster sugar
  2. 1 cinnamon stick
  3. peel of ½ a lemon
for the filling
  1. 25g/1oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  2. 12g cornflour
  3. 300ml/10½fl oz milk
  4. 4 egg yolks, plus 1 whole egg
  5. seeds from one vanilla pod
  6. 300g/10½oz ready-made all-butter puff pastry
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to at least 230ºC/210ºC fan/450ºF/Gas mark 8
  2. For the sugar syrup, bring the sugar, cinnamon and lemon rind to the boil in a saucepan with 250ml/9fl oz water. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then simmer for 3 minutes. Set the syrup aside until completely cool. Once cool, discard the cinnamon stick and lemon rind
  3. For the custard filling, mix the flours together in a bowl. Pour in a little bit of milk and stir until any lumps are removed
  4. Bring the rest of the milk to the boil in a saucepan over low heat, stirring regularly
  5. Gradually add the boiled milk to the flour mixture and whisk for 1 minute, or until smooth and well combined
  6. Slowly whisk in the sugar syrup until well combined
  7. Whisk in the egg yolks, whole egg and vanilla seeds until smooth and well combined. Set aside
  8. Roll out the pastry onto a lightly-floured work surface into a rectangle measuring approximately 50x30/20x12in; but more importantly, to a thickness of 1mm
  9. With the longest edge of the pastry rectangle facing you, roll the pastry as tightly as possible, brushing it from right to left with water as you go. Cut the pastry roll into 2cm/¾in-thick discs that are ¼ larger than the holes of your muffin tin
  10. Place the discs over the holes of your muffin tin and press them down firmly to the bottom & sides
  11. Fill each pastry cases with the custard until they are almost, but not quite, full
  12. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry has risen and the surface of the custard is scorched
  13. Set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow the custard to set slightly
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Black bread

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

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Sliced & buttered home-made black bread with a mug of tea

We recently bought a box of mixed ephemera at auction.

Vintage Esso wall calendar from 1958

There were quite a few vintage calendars in the box including this charming Esso calendar dating from 1958. Each month is represented by a traditional activity for the time of year…

Black bread recipe on a wall calendar from 1958

…and on the reverse is a recipe from a different county of the UK. I liked the sound of the black bread from Buckinghamshire so decided to test it out for this week’s Cakes & Bakes.

Black bread ingredients

I’m not sure whether it actually hails from Buckinghamshire or not, I couldn’t find any mention of a ‘Buckinghamshire black bread’ on the internet anywhere. Have you ever heard of it?

Adding treacle to the other black bread ingredients

From its list of ingredients, I presumed it would be a sweet bread, perfect for having with an afternoon cup of tea.

Black bread dough before putting it into the oven

It was really easy to rustle up, I already had everything in the store cupboard. It was quick too, no waiting for the dough to rise; just mix, into a tin and in the oven – job done!

Home-made black bread loaf

I’ve changed the original cooking temperature and duration. The top began to look a little too ‘black’ and it was definitely fully cooked after an hour.

Sliced & buttered home-made black bread loaf

It’s reminiscent of malt loaf but less sticky and more… treacley! We had a few slices with a healthy layering of butter – divine!

If you fancy giving this recipe a try you can pin it from here for later!

Black bread
Yields 1
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 450g/1lb wholemeal flour
  2. 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 300ml/½pt milk
  5. 1 egg
  6. 300ml/½pt black treacle
  7. 225g/8oz dried fruit (I used sultanas)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a 1kg/2lb loaf tin
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the salt and bicarbonate with the flour
  4. Mix in the milk, egg and treacle before adding the dried fruit
  5. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf tin and bake for about an hour. If the top begins to look too dark, cover with tin foil
  6. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool
Notes
  1. The original recipe says that this bread is best left for a month before cutting & consuming. We couldn't wait that long!
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Lemon & blueberry cheesecake

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

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Slice of home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake | H is for Home

Right, it’s official, cheesecake is H is for Home’s favourite cake!

Home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake ingredients | H is for Home

Hobnobs ground in a food processor | H is for Home

It’s by far, the most baked Cakes & Bakes entry.

Cheesecake biscuit base made using Hobnobs | H is for Home

Juicing & zesting lemons | H is for Home

This week, lemon & blueberry cheesecake joins the ranks.

Eggs broken into a small measuring jug | H is for Home

Cheesecake mixture and blueberry purée | H is for Home

I’ve used Hobnobs instead of the usual digestive biscuits for the base. Frozen blueberries are available in the supermarket all year round and at a fraction of the price of fresh.

Adding blueberry purée to cheesecake mixture | H is for Home

Lemon & blueberry cheesecake put into a water bath before baking | H is for Home

Home-made cheesecake isn’t difficult. The secret is cooking it long & low. Wrapping the tin with foil and placing it in a water bath (bain-marie) makes sure it cooks properly all the way through without burning. You want the slightest browning of the top.

Top of home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake before topping with fruit | H is for Home

Home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake | H is for Home

It feels like a very indulgent cake… but I know the blueberries count as one of your 5-a-day. It leaves just one question, do the lemons make it two? 😉

Detail of a home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake | H is for Home

If you’d like to save this recipe, you can pin it from here.

Lemon & blueberry cheesecake
Yields 8
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Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
for the base
  1. 200g/7oz Hobnobs
  2. 75g/3oz butter, melted
for the filling
  1. 500g/17½oz cream cheese
  2. 350g/12oz blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  3. 3 lemons, zest & juice
  4. 200g/7oz caster sugar
  5. 3 eggs
  6. 150ml/5fl oz sour cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas mark 2
  2. Grease the sides of a 20cm/8-inch spring-form cake tin
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter
  4. In a food processor, add the Hobnobs and grind to a fine crumb
  5. Add the ground biscuits to the butter and combine
  6. Empty the mixture into the base of the tin and smooth the surface evenly using the back of a tablespoon
  7. Bake the base for about 15 minutes then set aside to cool while you make the cake mixture
  8. Zest & juice the lemons. Set aside
  9. In the food processor you used to crumb the biscuit, add half the blueberries and lemon juice and purée
  10. In a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl if doing it by hand) add the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar and mix thoroughly
  11. Gently whisk the eggs in a measuring jug before adding them to the cheese mixture in 3 stages, mixing well after each addition
  12. Add the puréed blueberry & lemon juice mixture followed by the lemon zest, making sure it's well incorporated
  13. Boil a kettleful of water
  14. Before pouring the cheesecake mixture into the tin, wrap the tin in foil to make it water tight
  15. Put the tin into an oven tray (at least 5cm/1-inch deep)
  16. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the tin and put the oven tray & cake into the preheated oven
  17. Fill the oven tray to about ½cm/¼-inch below the rim with the boiled water
  18. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes
  19. When cooked, turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven, with the door ajar
  20. When completely cool, top with the other half of the blueberries and put in the fridge
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/